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(Pumpkin) Cheese Ball

November 24, 2010

by Elizabeth

Has anyone else noticed that a major food group is missing from most Thanksgiving tables? We have meat (Turkey, duh), carbs for days (stuffing, cornbread, rolls, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes), a plethora of vegetables (onions, mushrooms,  squash, root vegetables galore, greens, green beans, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin pie) – even fruits (cranberries, apples) and nuts (pecan pie) make the menu.

Where, may I ask, is the cheese!? Ahem, I mean dairy. With the exception of pumpkin cheesecake, I can’t think of a single “Thanksgiving” dish that uses dairy products. Apparently the Pilgrims didn’t like cheese. Maybe it all spoiled on the Mayflower?

If the prospect of a cheese-less holiday gives you anxiety, don’t fret my dears. The Pumpkin Cheese Ball is here to save the day! This seasonally-appropriate appetizer is certainly a crowd pleaser. And if you don’t want to look like a crazy person bringing pumpkin-shaped cheese to a Holiday party next month, just omit the “pumpkin stalk” and roll it in chopped nuts instead.

Pumpkin (shaped) Cheese Ball

8 oz plain cream cheese

8 oz chive onion cream cheese

8 oz sharp cheddar, freshly grated

8 oz extra sharp cheddar, freshly grated

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 green onion, minced

If you have a food processor – now is the time to use it. If you don’t,  just get ready to mix mix mix!

Put the cream cheeses in the food processor, pulse for 30 seconds or so, until the cream cheese is softened. Add the grated cheese in two batches, pulsing well between each addition. Add the spices, Worcestershire sauce, and green onions, pulse again until it’s very well mixed.

Place a piece of saran wrap in a medium size bowl (you are basically lining the bowl), and then transfer the cheese mixture to the bowl. Cover the cheese with more saran wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator. When it is well-chilled and firm to the touch, remove the saran wrapped cheese to a work surface. Gently form the cheese into a ball shape, and remove the saran wrap. Place it on your serving dish and smooth out the ball with your fingers. Use a bell pepper stem for a “pumpkin stalk”, and draw the pumpkin lines with a skewer.

Alternately – if you a) don’t want your relatives to think you are insane or b) want to serve this another time of year – form the cheese ball in the same way, but instead of making it look like a pumpkin you can roll it in chopped nuts and paprika. Pecans would be good with the cheddar.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2010 7:43 am

    What a great idea to serve cheese that way! It sounds fun and delicious 🙂

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